Considering a portfolio career near retirement


portfolio careersRetirement, for many of us, looks different.  In research we carried out in 2022, 43% of the employees asked, predict they will work beyond the state pension age.  For many, simply leaving employment at a designated age is no longer an option or even something we will choose to do, with many individuals wishing to continue working at some capacity into their later years.  The decision to extend working life can be down to financial, health or social reasons, yet regarding employment, we are seeing people increasingly challenged when making firm decisions on how to navigate the later stages of their careers and making the best choices for managing their career and retirement.

Employment is broader and more diverse than ever, and you may find that modern retirement gives you more freedom to shape your own path during the later stages of your career.  The desire for a flexible work life balance, evolving technological advances and an increasing demand for specialised skills has led to a dramatic shift in working styles. These factors, coupled with economical shifts and the demise of the ‘job for life’ is a key driver behind the significant increase in less traditional employment routes.  More professionals are exploring portfolio working as they near retirement.

What is a Portfolio Career?

A portfolio career is a flexible and autonomous working style whereby an individual has several multiple streams of income, often created with a mix of employment, freelancing, interim or consultancy work. You may work various positions simultaneously or at different points in time. With a portfolio career you no longer have one job, one employer, but multiple jobs and employers within one or more professions. The positions you work may also be unrelated. So, for example you could be an employed part time Finance Manager but away from the office you are wedding photographer.

Here are 4 examples of working styles that you may want to consider when looking at a portfolio career.


A Consultant is a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field of science or business to either an organisation or individual. As a self-employed consultant, you would source your own clients or projects and operate and invoice the client or organisation directly. Common types of consultancy services include, Strategy, Operations, HR, Financial or IT consulting. There is also the option of working for a consultancy firm as an employee.

Interim Management

An interim manager is a highly experienced specialist or senior leader who is employed for a short time to solve a specific business problem or to cover a specific piece of work or role. Interim management is like consultancy; however, an interim manager has a fixed contract, so they have a specific start and end date.

Non-Executive Director (NED)

A Non-Executive Director or NED is a member of a company's board of directors. Typically, they do not engage in the day-to-day management of the organisation or make decisions, however, they are more involved in policy making, planning and providing strategic direction. Often senior leaders planning post-executive life choose to work flexibly on several Non-Executive Director roles simultaneously rather than taking on a permanent role.


People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons, perhaps wanting to give back to their community, or to make a difference by helping a charity. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Volunteering can be extremely beneficial in terms of both personal and professional development and is a great way to gain and share experience and learn new skills. Volunteering may help you gain the experience you may need to get a particular role. Alternatively, if you have a wealth of experience behind you, volunteering can give you the opportunity to share the skills that you have acquired with others.

Final thoughts…

With much to consider, whether financial, health or social, it’s important to make sure that you make the right choices for you and your family. Research the options out there, seek advice from your loved ones, colleagues, networks and specialist organisations, and consider speaking with a career coach. With some planning and the right information, you will find the best route through retirement that works for you.

You can read more about Portfolio Careers here

Renovo is the UK’s leading providers of transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please email You can also read more about our Reinventing Retirement Programme here.

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